I NOTE with concern that on page six (Observer, February 23) it is reported that the county council has decided at present not to make the area a ‘frack-free- zone.
Hydraulic fracturing is the natural propagation of fractures in a rock layer caused by the presence of a pressurised fluid and can cause gas and petroleum from source rocks to migrate to reservoir rocks from where it can be extracted.
However exploration companies can accelerate this process by injection of a highly-pressurised fracking fluid which creates new channels in the rock that can increase the extraction rates and ultimate recovery of fossil fuels.
The nature of these toxic fluids is not divulged by companies.
Experience in areas where it has been used (see links below) has shown that it can lead to water contamination and cause other consequences such as earth tremors (eg as proved in the Blackpool area) and explosions.
Fracking has apparently been banned in the whole of France and in many other areas such as New York and it is important to resist any attempt to deploy this technology in our area or in the UK as a whole.
Although the process offers relatively-inexpensive access to energy reserves in the UK, this should not provide the excuse to proceed.
I had cause to write in early January to my Cllr Margaret Whitehead and MP Andrew Tyrie along the lines above.
Only Mr Tyrie responded and agreed to follow it up with the appropriate government department. I await a reply.
We are in danger of sleepwalking into environmental disasters.
Theatre Lane, Chichester